With a predicted market size of $4 trillion by 2020, the IoT is already seeing innovations at every level, including in the smart home. By taking the new connected capabilities of everyday devices like lights and thermostats, and giving users the ability to control their environment both at home and remotely, the IoT is helping to shift the way we interact with our homes. And for some, this shift can mean everything. 

A connected home

The idea of a smart home might sound like a luxury, but for United States Coast Guard chief petty officer (CPO) James Butz and his family, a connected home represented the opportunity to improve their quality of life. Butz joined the military in 1985 and was working with an anti-terrorism unit in 2003 when he was injured during a mission and ended up with a crushed knee and severely injured back.

Now retired after 24 years in the Coast Guard, Butz has undergone 20 surgeries and three knee replacements as a result of the injury.

A new lease on life

Adjusting to such catastrophic injuries is a lifelong challenge. Once mundane tasks like flipping a light switch, adjusting the thermostat or closing the garage door became challenges for CPO Butz. Fortunately, through the support of numerous organizations and the surrounding community, James and his family were able to move into a brand new smart home in April 2015.

The builders and technology integrators knew the Butz family would benefit from a home control system that included affordable and easy-to-use connected thermostats, deadbolts, lighting, smoke detectors, motion sensors and more. In order to blend with their lifestyle, all the technology needed to be managed from the family’s smartphones and tablets. In addition to control features, the home also has a fully integrated security system with cameras, intercom and weather services that provide audible tornado and severe weather warning alerts remotely.

CPO Butz’s humbling story is a reminder of how IoT technology can be transformative.